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What will an eTextbook look like?
According to the New York Times:
Devices to Take Textbooks Beyond Text
Newspapers and novels are moving briskly from paper to pixels, but textbooks have yet to find the perfect electronic home. They are readable on laptops and smartphones, but the displays can be eye-taxing. Even dedicated e-readers with their crisp printlike displays can’t handle textbook staples like color illustrations or the videos and Web-linked supplements publishers increasingly supply.
The eDGe has an e-reader screen on the left and an LCD screen on the right for color displays.
Now there is a new approach that may adapt well to textbook pages: two-screen e-book readers with a traditional e-paper display on one screen and a liquid-crystal display on the other to render graphics like science animations in color.
The dual screens are linked by a central processor so that, for example, a link on the e-paper display can open on the color screen.
A two-screen device called the eDGe will be released by enTourage Systems in February for $490, said Doug Atkinson, vice president of marketing and business development for the company, based in McLean, Va.”
Read the full article here.
Imagine an eTextbook with colour illustrations, video, web links, etc. Imagine highlighting, taking notes, marginalia, and dping simple tasks like sending e-mail or linking to elearning. Hmmmm.
I just like the idea of lighter backpacks!

Posted on: December 15, 2009, 5:58 am Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I like the idea of lighter backpacks, too, but that price tag is still well out of range of most students, unless mom and dad are willing and able to pick up the tab.
    What I’d really like to see is an e-reader that was priced for the AVERAGE student. The one who’s juggling class with part-time jobs, or raising children, or attending community college on a budget until s/he can afford to transfer to a 4-year university. Is that too much to ask, I wonder?

  2. I’m more than doubtful about the future of ebook specialized readers. In the above post you suggest that they’re gettng more complicated and computerlike, f.ex. you could send email from them. And why wouldn’t you, when it’s a connected device. With proper screens, multimedia capabilities and connectivity… well, netbooks already do that all and are cheaper too. Many people have one, and more are getting them. I’m quite sure when a netbook gets an e-ink screen (take a look at OLPC XO-1 which has had that concept for years), we’ll forget these silly ebook readers everybody is all excited about. You want to have a netbook anyway, why get a bulky, ugly device for reading certain kinds of texts.
    I know i’m pushing it, but read mostly with my netbook (Asus eeepc 901). I rotate the screen 90 degrees when going through longer passages of text and i love it. I’m not saying that’s the perfect device, but surely i’d hate to have a second device only for books. I don’t care too much about the format of books as such, and devices with annotation, connectivity and video screens don’t either. Or that’s the way i see them. Transformation away from printed books is not going to lead to ebooks with a single front cover, a single back cover, number of “pages” in the range of 200-400 and so forth. Real transformation was already happened, we call it the web and the device to access it is some sort of an interactive terminal.
    Of course novellas still exist and i sure hope more will be produced in the future.
    Hmm, otoh the manufacturers and media will make ebook reader a common devices, but that will be a transition i’ sure.
    I am still on the fence I have a Sony Reader, Acer netbook, OLPL XO, 3 laptops, iPhone, etc. I’m still deciding!